Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: THC1

Nano 2015 Project Decided!

After much flailing about, I’ve at last figured out my Nano 2015 project.

But first, the Saga of the Selection:

Way back at the end of September, I was in limbo. I’d just completed The Power of Music III: Measure of Resistance, and I thought I’d very much like to get started on the next book in the Discordant Harmonies series, A Life of Note I: Antiphons. I in fact quite looked forward to doing so, and set to work on it with anticipation of having an at least partial outline for it ready for November, as I’d decided that it would work perfectly as my November Nano project.

At first, work progressed well enough. Not as quickly as I’d have liked, but I was in a bit of a writing downswing and gave myself allowances for it. I didn’t push myself, but I got plenty of plot points entered into Scapple, and was working up something of a playlist for it since I’d decided to create a new one instead of using the one from TPOM, which I was rather weary of. It was easy to feel good about ALON1; I’d enjoyed finishing TPOM3, had the MCs firmly in mind, and could see a mostly-clear path from beginning to end of the first book of the ALON set which gave me the confidence I needed to work on it.

Then my writing downswing deepened, sometime within the first week or two of October. I lost interest in ALON1, but kept trying to work on it, even as my bipolar mood swung into a nesting phase. I cleaned house, then, in the third week of October, the nesting phase induced me to rearrange my living room, clean out my real-life files, and organize the files I keep for my writing. Over the course of the nesting phase, I threw out much, and I started working on another story set in the same world as ALON1.

This project was The Horseless Carriage I: Clockworks, which happens in part in tandem with the ALON series. Enough so that the characters cross over. I figured this was fine, as I needed to write both first books before going on to even outlining the second books of both series, because those books are where characters cross over. Even though I didn’t intend to have the same scenes written from the different points of view in the books, I do need to coordinate the storylines so I’m aware of what each of the characters are saying and doing in the books so there’s no confusion of the timeline.

Because I hadn’t quite lost interest in ALON1, I arbitrarily declared I was prepping both for Nano and would decide, at possibly the last minute, which one I’d work on for November based on the one I’d been able to do more prep for. This lasted until the beginning of the last week of October.

And, on Monday or Tuesday, I’d been up past my bedtime and was contemplating going to bed when another member of Forward Motion mentioned, on twitter, getting a steampunk comic idea. That induced me to open up one of my defunct projects which I hadn’t done much work on. It had a number of plot points, two scenes, and two reverse-outline plot cards written on it. Nothing much. I read through the two scenes and realized within myself a desire to read the rest of the incomplete story, so set to work on it.

I was rather willing to be distracted by Masters of the Schism I: The Elect because neither of my two Chraesti projects, one of which I’d already entered as my Nano project, were moving. I felt enthusiastic about MOTS1, though, and I was enjoying fiddling with the MCs’ lives. Over the next couple of days, I named more characters, brainstormed a major plot issue (Why is magic dying—and what’s the solution to bringing it back?) for the entire series, and wrote a couple of plot cards.

By the wee hours of this morning, it was pretty obvious MOTS1 was going to be my Nano 2015 project. I’d managed to write almost 15 plot cards, and decided at some point to do full plot cards for the first two scenes, cut them from the main WIP, and save them to another file so I could rewrite them for Nano and decide at the end of November which versions of the scenes I liked better. I’ve since entered the project as my Nano project, stats to be found here, and it comes complete with a full synopsis which I agonized over for all of about 45 minutes. I’ll add a snippet when I have something written after the first few days of November.

I probably won’t be staying up all night to write just after midnight on Sunday. I have church that morning, and I really want to be alert because I didn’t make it to church last week due to not sleeping the night before. I’ve also got a couple other things to do, but I hope to get to writing at some point before midnight so I can enter a wordcount on the first. As always, I’m not going to sweat it if I don’t write every day, but do my best to maintain a consistent wordcount ahead of the goals for each day.

Slow on the Writing Front

My writing downswing seems to be over, but I can’t really say as I’m tearing through any projects with regards to writing right now. I’ve been trying to divide my attention between two projects set on Chraest in preparation for National Novel Writing Month in November.

The books I’m trying to prepare for Nano are A Life of Note I: Antiphons and The Horseless Carriage I: Clockworks. The reason why I’m trying to tackle both of them right now is because I have this notion that during the course of both series they’re going to touch and tie in to each other somewhat. As I see it, Géta’s friend Udé is going to train one of his Gifts by assisting the MCs of THC1, and I’m considering having Géta and one of the MCs (his name keeps changing) of THC become romantically involved. This means, either way I go with the books, I need to have both books 1 written before I start working on books 2 for both series so that I can tie them together.

I’m thinking THC will be only two books long, unless I send Juner and the other MC of the series off to war for some reason. ALON will of course be three books long, and I suspect may carry some of THC’s characters’ lives into the third volume.

But I started on THC1 late. LOL Only last week, I started getting plot points on it. Actually, I outlined a couple of scenes, then realized plot points would help me there and started on them. I’m excited to work on this project. More than for writing on ALON1. I’ve been concentrating on getting plot points into Scapple for THC, and intend, if I do write that book instead of ALON1, to do my usual thing of getting two plot cards per scene written until I have a total of 15 cards and then run with an open-ended outline.

Getting the plot points is slow, though. Only two or three a day. The way my scenes build upon one another, I’m wondering if the plot points won’t come faster until I’m actually writing on the project. Same with the plot cards for the outline. Over the next week or so, I’ll be outlining from what plot points I have to see if that shakes something loose like writing can sometimes help with the outline. That’s part of the reason why I prefer an open-ended outline. Sometimes a scene I write gives me an idea for a future scene, or feeds into a subplot thread in a way I didn’t see prior to writing the scene out. I’m hoping the outline will work like that for the plot points.

It would probably help if I were a bit more enthusiastic, but this year has been a low year for writing enthusiasm in general. When I have written, I’ve not been as into it as I was last year. Knowing my luck, my writing enthusiasm will surge up the moment I start classes in January. LOL

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